Prey Veng provincial police on Sunday sent two suspects to court for the theft of 14 Buddha statues from a pagoda.
Provincial deputy police chief Pov Chivi told The Post that Sam Vy, 39, and her lover Kong Farith, 36, were arrested by Preah Sdech district police on Friday.
The two are accused of stealing the statues from a chief monk in Prey Chbar Pagoda in Kampong Soeng commune, in Preah Sdech district, Prey Veng province.
“The statues are made of marble, copper and other metals and around 100 years old,” said Chivi.
Preah Sdech district police sent the case to Prey Veng police on Saturday and the statues were returned to the pagoda.
Prey Veng provincial court spokesman Chan Vannak told The Post on Sunday that the suspects have not been charged as yet. “We are still questioning them,” he said.
Preah Sdech district police chief Chey Seng Heang said the suspects who are construction workers, asked the pagoda chief permission to live in the pagoda.
But instead, they returned to their home in Russey Keo district, in Phnom Penh. One day, they went back to visit, after which the monk joined a ceremony in the village.
Heang said that’s when they broke in and stole the statues. Preah Sdech district police caught them at Kampong Soeng commune the same day, 4km from the pagoda.
“The suspects stole statues to sell to an antique dealer in Phnom Penh,” he said.